Overview

Marilee Springer serves as outside general counsel to her clients, providing concierge level service to tax-exempt organizations, social impact entities, donors and high net worth families, and quasi-governmental entities. Marilee focuses on corporate, governance, tax and structuring issues, and her clients are served by lawyers across the entire Faegre Drinker platform. In the social impact space, Marilee frequently advises clients on corporate social responsibility programs, impact investments and sophisticated grants, including program related investments (PRIs) and mission related investments (MRIs).

Advising Tax-Exempt Entities

Marilee focuses on tax-exempt entities with an emphasis on trade associations, economic development organizations, private foundations, health care entities, education providers (charter school networks and colleges and universities), social enterprise entities, quasi-governmental entities and other highly regulated entities. Her work helps critical nonprofit organizations deploy strategies to maximize their impact in public policy, advocacy and community benefit.

She advises her diverse client base in all aspects of their operations from formation, applying for tax exemption, advice regarding the impact of proposed or new legislation, governance, executive compensation, board and executive team relations, contracting, federal tax compliance and grant programs. Marilee assists her clients in structuring transactions that typically rely upon sophisticated and diverse funding sources including public funds (federal, state or local), tax exempt bonds, commercial investment, service revenues, and philanthropy.

Marilee has assisted numerous tax-exempt clients in evaluating, structuring and documenting corporate affiliations and reorganizations involving mergers, liquidations, dissolutions, affiliation agreements, taxable subsidiaries (C corporations and LLCs) and other sophisticated structuring options. Marilee advises tax-exempt clients on the reasonableness of compensation to executives or insiders, including the application of the intermediate sanction regulations.

Government Service

In addition to her legal background, Marilee served in the public sector as deputy chief of staff and senior policy director for former Indiana Governor Mike Pence (now vice president of the United States). Marilee was responsible for oversight and management of executive agencies, the cabinet, boards and commissions; management of the personnel process for selection of agency heads and the performance evaluation process; and input regarding policy, legislative and communication strategies for the governor and executive agencies. As senior policy director, she led transition- team efforts to select and orient the governor’s policy team before inauguration and oversaw policy development for the governor’s first legislative agenda, “The Roadmap for Indiana.”

As Marilee returned to the private practice of law, she continued to apply her governmental experience in crisis communications, policy development and advocacy, and executive management experience for the benefit of her charitable client base.

Services & Industries

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Indiana

Education

Purdue University
B.A. in Psychology and Law and Society, with distinction (1993)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D. magna cum laude, Indiana Law Review (note development editor) (1996)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • “Cool New Math: Social Good + Financial Returns = Social Impact Investing,” Financial Planning Association of Indiana, September 2018
  • “Ethical Considerations – Competency, Who’s the Client, When to Take Action and Examples,” ICLEF, April 2016
  • “Excise Taxes, Unrelated Business Income and Other Rules Applicable to Charities and How They Interplay with Estate Plans,” co-author and presenter, US Law Firm Group, 2012
  • “What to Know When Serving on a Nonprofit Board,” Indianapolis Bar Association, November 2011
  • “New Sources of Revenue for Community Colleges: Licensing Sponsorship and Co-Ventures,” Counsel for Resource Development, Washington, D.C., November 2011
  • “Beyond Traditional Grants: Program Related Investments,” Indiana Grant Makers Alliance, September 2011
  • “Forming and Managing Nonprofits and Foundations,” The Racing Attorney Conference (TRAC), April 2011
  • “Practice Information You Should Know When Serving on an Indiana Nonprofit Board,” Leadership United Program, United Way of Central Indiana, January 2011; March 2010; December 2008
  • “Legal Issues in Foundation Management,” Council for Resource Development, Washington, D.C., November 2010
  • “Economic Incentives, Stimulus Funds and Federal and State Procurement,” Indiana Chamber of Commerce Tax Conference, October 2010
  • “Corporate Governance: Does Your Organization Reflect Best Practices?,” Education Finance Council, March 2010
  • “Federal Form 990,” Virginia Association of Community Colleges, January 209
  • “Federal Form 990 – What it Means For Your Foundation,” Connecticut Development Council, January 2008
  • “Current Developments With the IRS: How To Protect Your Institution,” Council for Resource Development, Washington, D.C., November 2008; November 2007
  • “The New Form 990: What Does It Mean For Your Foundation?,” Illinois Community College Resource Development Annual Conference, April 2008
  • “IRS Hot Topics,” Illinois Community College System Foundation, March 2008
  • “The Hidden Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006,” Council for Resource Development, Washington, D.C., November 2006
  • “Tax Exempt Organizations in Indiana,” Lorman Education Services, June 2005
  • “Property Tax Exemptions for Nonprofits,” ICLEF, March 2005
  • “Legal Concerns for Nonprofits,” United Way of Central Indiana Workshop, February 2005; September 2004

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Thrivent Trust Company, Board and Audit Committee Member
  • Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc., Board and Investment Committee Member
  • Indiana Bicentennial Celebrations Planning Committee Member
  • Traders Point Christian Church, Volunteer
  • Sagamore Institute, past board member
  • TeenWorks, past board member

Firm Leadership

  • Prior law firm: Elected Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Honors

  • Indiana Super Lawyer, Nonprofit Organizations, 2019-20
  • Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Nonprofits/Charities Law in Indianapolis, 2018, 2013
  • Best Lawyers® — Nonprofits/Charities Law, 2009-21
  • Howey Politics Indiana, Power 50, Honorable Mention, 2014
  • Sagamore of the Wabash, July 2014

Awards Methodology


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